Monday, June 14, 2010

Some thoughts on the 2010 Tony Awards

This is going to be a little like the Tony Awards: nothing too edgy or innovative, nothing that other people haven't already said and with more panache. You can find the winners here.

As host, Sean Hayes was charming and funny, terrific at the piano (did anyone else tear up at the first strains of "Give My Regards to Broadway?") and not afraid to put on silly costumes. His drawn-out kiss with Promises, Promises costar Kristin Chenoweth was perfect.

With so many styles of music represented on Broadway: rhythm and blues, pop, rock 'n' roll, Afrobeat, to name a few, why did American Idiot get to perform so many times? And people do realize that Green Day's not in the show, right?

As presenters, Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane from The Addams Family made me laugh. Yes, the Passover line has been used before but what can I say? Perhaps it's programmed in my genetic code but I will laugh every single time.

I thought Catherine Zeta-Jones did a much better job with "Send in the Clowns" when I saw A Little Night Music than she did on the Tonys. Steve on Broadway, as usual, had the perfect quip on Twitter: "Catherine Zeta-Jones inexplicably became a bobble-head."

How glamorous was Scarlett Johansson! I was moved by her acceptance speech: "Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to be on Broadway." Sadly, A View From the Bridge closed in April. Johansson is a singer, too. So the 25-year-old may well have an EGOT in her future.

I think Glee is hit or miss, but I loved hearing Lea Michele sing "Don't Rain on My Parade." Although I know it's not likely to happen, I would buy a ticket to see her in a Broadway revival of Funny Girl. I just would.

I wish people would stop ragging on Best Musical winner Memphis. It's an energetic show with terrific performances from Chad Kimball and Montego Glover. At a time when we're still fighting for marriage equality, the story of the romance between a black singer and a white disc jockey in the 1950s resonated with me.

(And Michael Riedel, if you liked Fela! better, that's fine. But please, you're not an expert on what's "authentically black.")

16 comments:

Linda said...

I loved Sean Hayes too and I enjoyed all of the American Idiot/Green Day performances, but I agree that it wasn't fair for them to have so many numbers. Also, Promises, Promises had two numbers and it wasn't nominated. My main problem with Memphis is that the score is so generic sounding.

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I much preferred Catherine Zeta-Jones' performance in A Little Night Music to what she inexplicably did last night.

Esther said...

Well you have a point about Promises, Promises. And I do think the score of Memphis works better when you hear it in the theatre. Sergio Trujillo's choreography really gives it a boost. And knowing what the main characters have gone through just makes it more emotional. I know it's not daring or innovative but I did enjoy it.

Esther said...

Your comment hit the nail on the head, Steve. Her performance was very strange. I recorded the show and I do want to watch it again. Maybe she's still feeling the effects of the virus she had.

NineDaves said...

i'm giving catherine zeta-jones a pass last night because her voice was clearly going, and because if her acceptance speech was any indicator, she was on some sort of pills.

JK said...

Did you hasppen to catch the "Creative Awards" which weren't aired? The whole thing felt so much more honest. Genuine emotion, no "performing for the camera"...and WHY can't costume designers clothe themselves?

I loved Sean... funny, but low key. He and Kristin need their own TV show. Great to see him show off his biggest talent...he is a virtuoso pianist.

Joseph said...

I would easily buy a ticket for FUNNY GIRL with Lea Michele. I completely agree with you, Esther. Sadly, in my opinion, her performance came off better than the ones for any of the shows.

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET even had a great performance that I thought really worked well on TV.

Esther said...

Thanks for the comment, NineDaves! Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me if Catherine Zeta-Jones were still on medication from her recent illness. She is much better in the musical.

Esther said...

Hey JK, I did watch the creative awards and enjoyed them. I just couldn't think of anything creative to say that hadn't already been said and I was already long-winded! ;-(

I know everyone has to get up there and thank the producers, etc., but for me the best speeches are the ones that really come from the heart, like ScarJo's. And Marian Seldes, wow, does she ever know the impact of silence!

Seeing Sean and Kristin together really made me want to see Promises, Promises.

Esther said...

Hey Joseph, I guess I'm not as interested in the real-life people being portrayed in Million Dollar Quartet. I'm not a big Elvis fan and I saw Walk the Line. But they did look and sound great. I don't think there's any chance Lea Michele will do Funny Girl but I love that song and I loved her performance.

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

**Edited to spell things correctly

After seeing Show Business, Michael Riedel seems like such a smarmy jerk. Unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me he said that about "Fela!". Then again, what do I know? I'm just a member of one of the "hick audiences around the country."

JK said...

LOL, Esther!

I am the KING of long-winded...

Where is the infamous Fela! quote?

Jeff

Esther said...

Hey Emily, you're right, that was a nasty comment, too. I didn't call him out on it because I wasn't sure whether he was calling audiences "hicks" or whether he was saying that's what producers consider them. Either way, it was wrong.

Esther said...

Jeff, just click on Michael Riedel's name in the blog post and it'll take you directly to his column!

Vance said...

CZJ clearly stated in her acceptance that she's still a bit sick (though will be there for Tuesday's performance). And I'm not angry like everyone else seems to be about Memphis winning. Was it the best musical? No. Was it a bad musical? No. There's been worse winners, even in recent times.